A "London" Sonata (Piano Sonata #1)

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A "London" Sonata (Piano Sonata #1)


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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
14 minutes
Modern classical music
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Audio from CD "Piano Music+" by Jay Anthony GACH Pianist, Steven Neugarten

NB 1) newly revised ending last couple of measures - not in recording. 2) I’ve made a cut - not reflected in the music or recording. Mm.159-173 have been excised and sent to music hades; the sin, overkill!

If a larger print score is wished please contact me at the above email. Gratis

NOTES The title of my first, large scale piece for solo piano perhaps, best describes what the piece is not rather than what it is. Formally, it bears no resemblance to traditional sonata form and there is nothing ?Londonish? about the musical materials. But I did write the piece while living in London and even today the term sonata can still be useful in suggesting the scope of large-scale solo pieces.

Of the many kinds of music presented in this sonata I should point out the appearance of a Mormon hymn ? partly authentic, partly recomposed by me ?which serves as the signpost announcing the final section of the sonata. This entire section is written in memory of Aaron Copland who died around the time I was composing this sonata. He was very fond of American hymns and spirituals and, indeed, his most heartfelt music effects the spirit and piety of this genuine tradition.

I like to think of my London Sonata as continuing a kind of music tradition having its most immediate roots in the piano music of Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland: three of many American composers who sought to forge an American School of composition and whose later careers suffered unjustly during the nihilistic ascendancy of twelve-tone music in the USA. JAG 93

Commissioned by the Third British Contemporary Piano Competition 1994. Premier performance was given by 1st prize winner Ronan Magill at Rainbow Over Bath Festival, The Michael Tippett Centre, Bath College UK.

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